La Primera Carta

Mother. Mother.
First off. I thought I wrote down the address of the CCM on a piece of paper the morning I left. No? I don’t have it on me. Another week you will wait.
It has been chaos. I have a ton to tell you, but really none of the time. I´m thinking of investing in snail mail. It takes about three weeks, but would keep my stress slash spelling errors to a minimum. Well, actually, this computer and I both lack a spell check, so that last line might be a lie. The spelling’ll be bad either way.
None of the buttons are in the right place. I’m sorry. A little, anyways.
ALSO! Perhaps most importantly! I have no one’s address. Email or otherwise. Please, if you could gather some up and assist me in this endeavor I would be a little bit grateful.
So. Where  to start. I’m going to tell you of today. Today was interesting, and also my P-day. This means that I awoke, ate breakfast, and did some much needed laundry–i should’ve been safe and brought three extra pairs of clothes. Silly me.
In order to tell you of the rest of my day, you have to know this. I’m in a different country. And so none of my words here are going to do it justice. There’s simply too much that will not translate over a screen and a couple hundred words. Firstly, the MTC here is beautiful. It’s small–three buildings. The grounds are in a constant state of being cleaned by wonderfully happy people. Sure, hardly any of the people here speak English–only the North Americans, as we’re known–but, for all intents and purposes, we could be at home. Except the sounds. You wake up and you can hear honking and sirens and a plethora of other city sounds. And I could hear that all week, but I couln’t really see it. Not behind our thick brick wall surrounding the grounds.
And then today was Temple day. We have the opportunity to go to the Temple and a handful of pre-designated stores. You step outside the gates and there’s a flurry of chaos. The air tastes like too many cars and overpopulation, and the sun is suddenly hot, and the streets are narrow, crumbling playthings for all the drivers to ignore. As soon as my group–five newbies, five seniors–were bombarded with a chorus of Taxi{s flying by, horns blaring, in constant search of someone to cart away. But we ignored the Taxis and had to run across the road, where cars are king and stop lights are optional. Crosswalks are little more than jokes. Everything is dictated on how lucky you’re feeling and how long ones legs are. Also not being stupid. That helps.
But a bus pulled up right as we got to the other side of the street, and we all piled on. The bus was an old dusty thing. We gave him the appropriate amount of change–fifty soles a piece, perhaps the equivalent of about fifteen cents–and we immediately pulled away, whether people were sitting or no. I was, but I was one of the lucky. We then drove about a mile or so away. The temple isn’t far. But we were still two directions of traffic away from the temple when we got out, so there was more of the panicky crossing of roads and the few blessed people who actually acknowledged proper red light etiquette. And then the temple was there. In the middle of badly developed housing and overcast smog.
And there was so much peace. The temple was wonderful, and was so peaceful, particularly in comparison to all the gritty life of the city. Anyways, it was really neat, and today was perhaps the first day where I thought, ¨´Oh, okay. I guess I’m in Peru now.¨´
I have two companions. I adore them both. Hermana Estes is from Utah, and Hermana Florian is from Connecticut. H. Florian has a hilarious accent. She stresses her A’s weird. She lives in a constant state of trying to tame a large bundle of brown-red hair. It’s quite the curly beast.
And now, because I don’t know how else to do this, I’ll give you a condensed copy of my diary.
Day 1. You know, the airplane flight with fifty missionaries probably has to be the safest plane in the air at all times.
Day 2. The showers. It’s like playing a game of hop-scotch with alternations of lava and arctic temperatures. I finally gave up on a decent shower. It’s a dangerous game I play, but I am brave, and don’t really need normal water temperatures anyways.
We also have the most adorable little Latina sisters from Honduras and Peru. One speaks no Spanish. The other spent two years learning it, They love us and we love them and I really don’t know how else to put it.
Day 3. Cannot tell if I’ve become super human somehow between yesterday and today, but I’m able to almost withstand a full shower without burning and or freezing my poor, poor scalp.
Oh, yeah. I also speak Spanish. That’s a thing now.
 I’ve got two companions. Um- I kind of like them a lot. I mean, I feel like this is super cliche and over used, but they’re awesome.
Day 5. Ma. Marissa. Sam. I ate the best orange today. It was very good. It was perfectly sweet.
Today was a Sunday. Do you know that means? It means severe anxiety. Sundays are days when a random person–or five, as the case may be–gets called from the congregation to give a five minute talk. In Spanish. So. Worst lottery win ever?
Day 6
A Monday
We taught our first lesson to our investigator today. His name is John–also known as Yhon, Jhon, yllan. To be honest, no one knows how it’s spelled anymore. It’s different every time we see it. Anyways, everything was in Spanish. Hermana Florian was AMAZING. She was busting out Spanish left and right. Me? I might have mixed up the words fish and sin. So. You can imagine how that went. /Christ is here to help get rid of the fish in our lives and make us clean again./ Oops.
But it was actually really, really cool. John is actually one of our teachers, and I know it’s weird to teach lessons to people who are already members, but he’s acting as one of the people he actually baptized on his own mission. We got into that little room, and he looked at us with his earnest little face, and we’ve been praying from him all week–I’ve been here for, like, three weeks now, right?–and I just wanted him to understand.
Feelings. I had them.
Now. But, okay, really. I don’t speak Spanish. I’m semi decent at the accent, but I have like a fifty word bank. Well, fifty two if you count sin and fish.
And the food here is really interesting. Really interesting. Let me just say that fries are in salads and popcorn in soups. And hotdogs are gourmet. (Mother, please, for all that is holy, make sure you spell check this. And throw in some decent apostrophes before putting it on the blog. Ack.)
Some quotes.
“My foot loves to eat chocolate.”
“This tastes like cumin.”
“Human? That’s it, let me try it.”
I miss you all, on occasion. But I love you all for sure. Most of the time. You can tell Nathan that I told my class about how grumpy he is in another language halfway across the world. You can tell Sam that I tell everyone he’s one of my best friends. And you can tell Joy that I miss braiding her long, long hair. Until next week!

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