Hearts of Cow; microbe-phobe

Today starts my 12th week in the mission. That makes it three months out of the house. That feels pretty quick. Yesterday at lunch, an elder said, ‘Hey! Hey, Hermana Compton, how far away is that airplane?’ and pointed at the ceiling. I was confused, but was pretty sure it was a joke of some sort, which was proved correct when he said, ‘About 16 months away.’ Aha. Ha. Ha. But in all reality, the days here move ridiculously quick. You wake up at six thirty and move and move and move and move and then you’re sleeping and then you wake up at six thirty again.

                We had another baptism Saturday evening. That makes five in the six weeks I’ve been here. That’s pretty awesome, but also I hardly ever talk in our lessons, so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to reproduce that kind of success without my capasitadora.

                Speaking of which, she’s probably leaving sometime today or tomorrow. We have our cambios today, and if I’m being honest, I’ll let you all know that I’m terrified and also not terrified.  On the one hand, I can’t speak this language all that well—the average missionary before the age change had three months in the MTC, and another three months with their trainer. I’ve got a month and a half in the CCM and a month and a half with my trainer. That’s three months of language and lesson training cut out. So how prepared do I feel? Let’s not answer that. But on the other hand, I’m really good at putting away all the panic, and walking out the door.

I’m betting that I either get  a other six weeker companion or I’ll have to train a new missionary. I’ll report to you next week on how alive I still am, but in the meantime, please pray a ton for me, okay?

In other news, I have a story of trauma. The other day, three or four days back, I noticed a towel in the house. It was a pretty suspicious color—all blacks and grays and whites—but was sitting in front of our mini fridge to clean up a leaky chicken disaster. So I didn’t touch it. Because there was the leaky chicken disaster. And it was a really questionable color. And this is Peru. So who knows what’s growing in the towel, right?

But this morning I’m finishing up the dishes, and all the sudden the suspicious leaky chicken towel is in my hands and I don’t really know what to do, so I start shouting in alarm. Mostly in English, but a bit in Spanish as well. I kept shouting, ‘Burn it! Let’s burn it! I think it’s moving!’ But I didn’t know how to translate that into Spanish, so I went with, ‘Fire! We need fire!’  I think all Hermana Martinez heard was ‘I’m a gringa! I’m scared of germs and things that grow in Peru! Help!’

She sort of rolled her eyes and me and said, ‘Leave it there. I’ll wash it in a minute.’ But then I was all, ‘Ha! That sounded like a challenge. I think that was a challenge. Plus, I think this is a trial of my faith. I’ll do it.’ Except I can’t say all of that in Spanish either, so I was like. ‘No. I WANT to do it.’

And I washed that towel. With half our soap and all the pathetic strength my arms could muster. Now it’s less black, and but I still suspect there’s something living in there.

Now that I’m talking of the traumatic, I might as well tell you this next story as well.

So the other day we walked over to a lady’s house whom we baptized a couple weeks back. I have heaps of affection for her, and her name is Ines. Ines is a sixty something woman who cooks on a tiny, lopsided grill for a living. While we’re talking to her out on the sidewalk and a couple people walk up and want some food. Inside a large metal pot that’s been sitting out in the sun for the entirety of the day is two dozen cow hearts or so. And she takes the cow hearts and spears them on a metal skewer and pops them on the grill.

In my head I’m thinking of how questionable everything about this situation is and how grateful I am that I’m not the one eating the hearts of cows. Externally, I continue to talk in really sketchy Spanish.

But I notice that Hermana Ines is cooking more skewers of heart than there are customers. And I notice that she’s cooking exactly two more than there are customers. And I think, ‘Ah. She must be hungry.’

Silly me.

Mom, I ate all the cow hearts on my plate. I ate all of the questionable cow hearts. And do you want to know what’s even worse? They were really quite delicious.

Anyways. Yeah. Didn’t even get sick.

Also, not even surprised that we’re moving again. I still lay claim to my new bed, please pack my things nicely, and don’t let the littles siphon it off in the next year, okay?

With much love and adoration,

Hermana Compton


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