heat flash; unholy amounts of rice; I speak Spanish now!

Dear Mother,

This week we taught many. Mostly children. This is how you know we’re beginners, my companion and I. We teach a ton of children, but have a suspicious lack of families. We really need more families. (Pray we find families, yeah?)

Spanish is coming along so much better these days. In fact, it’s really quite difficult to type in English right now. I have to think of the sentence in Spanish, pause for a second, and type in English. I was walking down the street a couple of nights back, and I started talking in English. My companion doesn’t really speak English, but I just wanted to try it, you know? It felt really weird. All the unfamiliar sounds that they don’t have in Spanish felt quite strange and sharp. Three months without really speaking a language doesn’t really do much for grammar structure.      

This week we had a heat flash. I’d like you to think about what a heat flash might feel like in the heart of the Peruvian jungle. It feels like—well, it feels like a heat flash in the heart of the Peruvian jungle. I don’t think words are really going to do this justice. Also let it be known that our water went out for more than twenty-four hours this week. We still had some drinking water, but mostly this meant that we couldn’t shower until late last night, when the water finally kicked back on. Which really meant that we smelled something awful for Church yesterday.

I’ve eaten surprisingly mellow this week. They feed us an unholy amount of rice, and at first I ate everything in fear of offending. Now I’m like, ‘No, thanks. I’m full.’ I eat as much as I feel like I can without vomiting, and then I start rejecting.

I’m sending photos to compensate for my lackluster writing. You guys are missing a ton, but there’s no way I can accurately describe all of Iquitos in twenty five minutes of writing, which is quite sad. Sometimes, Mom, I could do with a call home. There should be a weekly call home.

But I can say that with the progress in the language, I can teach better, and I can feel the Spirit stronger, and I can honestly say that I’m learning so, so much, and that everything’s a little bit easier every week.

I love you all, and hope all the kids adjust well to a new house.

Hna. ComptonImageImage

Peanut butter or vegetables; accento feo

My dearest Mother, Keith, siblings, The Littles, cousins, other people who are reading this,

I received the package, mother. Gracia, gracia, gracia. My brain now highly associates peanut butter with home. I’m really grateful that I have peanut butter, but maybe a little less grateful that I eat five thousand peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day. I think I now have what I like to openly call my ‘Pan Pouch.’

I swear I’ve never eaten so unhealthily in my life. And it’s sort of my fault but sort of Iquitos’ fault. They don’t believe in vegetables here, Mom. Probably because they’re in the jungle and vegetables just don’t seem to exist here. Tomato and cucumbers are the only two vegetables I regularly see, and they’re expensive. Oh, and onion. (For Saturday morning breakfast I ate a piece of bread with a slab of onion just to feel better about my food’s nutritional value.)

My goal for this week is to buy a ton of tomato and cucumber and onion and lime and pears and any other vegetable/fruit I can find and eat all of it. No more bread with liquid cheese! No more, I say! It’s inhumane!

Have I mentioned that I’m a spoiled white kid on the inside? On the outside, too, but I want to clarify that I’m falling into stereotypes here.

So, all of last week’s member miracles seemed to have dried up for this week. This means that we had a whopping 6 lessons with members, and in missionary terms, that’s really, really sad. That said, last week we had 0 progressing, and 0 people with baptism dates. This week we have five people preparing for the 25 of January. And this is really, really good.(You have no idea how hard it is to type in English. I’m using all my Spanish missionary phrases and it’s terribly difficult not to start spewing Spanish at you all.)

My Spanish is no longer a gaping, festering disaster. Well, it’s still disastrous, but sometime in the last two weeks, my brain and my mouth decided to correlate their efforts, and I can get sentences out quite regularly now. My companion tells me that I have an ‘accento feo’ but she’s Argentinean and rolls her r’s like nobody’s business. The r here is really subdued, and my first companion, Hermana Martinez de Bolivia, hardly rolled her r’s at all. But mostly I’m like, ‘Listen, I’m trying to learn a new language in a handful of months. Accent is going on the backburner.’

But really, Spanish is easier. Teaching is easier. I think it’s sort of true, what everyone says. The first two months were pretty grueling, and I felt quite isolated, but it’s so much better now. I can even make a joke, if I try really, really hard. My goal is to work in a pun this week. We’ll see how that goes.

I think the credit card is a much better idea, Mother. I would love to not have all of my money stolen. But if you could send licorice with the package. And other unhealthy things. Like more reeses peanut butter cups. But mostly licorice.

I love you all! I’m really proud of your cooking, Mom. I’m also just really proud of you. You’re pretty amazing. Have I told you that lately? You’re an amazing mother. Don’t forget to eat your vegetables. Tell all hello and that they’re loved and missed.

Hermana Compton

P.S. I may be the joke of our zone because I’m known as the girl whose mom sends heaps of salt in her Christmas package.  But I’m not bothered one bit. Because I have all the peanut butter.

Blistering heat; white people; a place that’s perpetual fall?

Dear Keith and Family,

 

I too am proud of me for sticking out the cultural differences—by cultural differences, I mean the blistering heat. Actually, I say blistering heat, but I’ve never even gotten sunburned here. Like, it’s really, really hot, and I sweat constantly, but I’ve never gotten legitimate sunburn. And I don’t know that I’m all that much darker. I have a running theory that my state of pastiness has nothing to do with sun exposure and perhaps I’ve got some super-white disease.

I think sometimes I forget that I’m white, and I’m sure that no one notices me when I walk around this city, but every once in a while I spot a tourist or vagabond Caucasian, and my brain malfunctions and I can’t not look away.

White person, white person, white person.

So I say almost every day that I’m going to die of heat, and that I would commit petty crimes to sit in Utah snow for, like, five minutes. But in reality, I don’t think I miss it that much. Or I would stop missing it really quickly if I actually had the Utah cold.

Can’t I just live in a place that’s perpetually fall? Isn’t there a place like that? There should be a place like that.

Hey, I have a new companion. She’s not a newbie, but she’s got six weeks in the mission. And! She’s Latina. She can speak the Spanish language. Granted, she’s Argentinean, so I can’t exactly understand her all the time, but I’m utterly grateful that I’m not training.

What’s been really cool this weeks is that Heavenly Father knows we’re two six weekers wobbling around, a little bit lost and a lot terrified. Therefore, we’ve had members trotting up to us and like, ‘Hey, I have a nephew that wants to know more about the Church! Hey, here’s a lady that’s been attending another ward for a while, but wants to be baptized in this area. Hey, I have a friend that wants to hear more.’ And then at Church we just have people walking in like, ‘Hey, my friend goes to Church here. Can I talk to you guys?’ And other people poking their heads out their doors and are like, ‘Come talk to us!’

Okay, so it wasn’t all exactly like that, but it was almost exactly like that, and it’s so, so weird, because things like this never happen, but we’re really, really grateful.

But also this week’s been really sad, because we have investigators that we’ve been working with for a couple months now, and a ton of less actives that we’ve been trying and trying to help, and I came to the realization that it’s truly difficult to change people, and if it was just two kids walking around the city trying to change the people, we would have no progress. Because it’s not us that can change the people, but the Gospel. I’m still not 100 percent sure where I fit in in this equation, but it’s been really humbling.

I love you all a ton and I look forward to a new house, but mourning all our pretty, pretty fruit trees that we’re, once again, abandoning.

 

With much love, Hermana Compton

 

P.S. The language is much better. I can almost respond to people’s questions now.ImageImage

100 días en la misión Peru 

 
Puedo entender casi todo. Todavía tengo miedo do las preguntas. Y suri. Tengo miedo de suri.