Mini-breakdown? Eat watermelon; The Littles

2/17/2014

Mother,

Ma, last night I had a dream I was home again, and I was in the airport and in the house and talking to everyone and I was like. . . ‘Are you sure I’m home? I think this is a dream.’ And I was closely inspecting everything, and reading things to make sure all the details were real. Finally, I decided, ‘Yep. I must be home now. Everything’s too realistic to be a dream.’

       But then I woke up and I was like, ‘Duh. You could read everything, but it was all written in Spanish. Of course you weren’t home.’

                This week was the first week where we ran into someone who was like, ‘Polygamy! Jose Smith!’ And my companion was like, ‘No, that’s a lie. He only had one wife.’ And I sat there quite conflicted, because they were both telling lies mixed with bits of truth. Which was interesting. I had and still have no idea how to respond to this question/accusation.

Oh, yeah. There were changes (Changes? Cambios? What’s the word in English?)last Monday, and my companion, Hna. Rojas, and I are together another month and a half in the same ward, Las Castañas. Which is a huge relief. Granted, I want to strangle her sometimes, but I also love her a lot. So.

I feel utterly trunky—a term used by missionaries to say we’re homesick—after reading your letter of packing up your room. A lot of good things happened in that house. I feel it’s the place we finally hit the silver lining to the black cloud of Dad. But I’m also okay with moving.

I also miss Sam now. I think it’s time they get their hair cut again.

I love you all,

Hna. Compton 

 

(Pardon for my terrible letter. The internet is wretchedly slow, and it took an hour to load your letter, and now I don’t have time to actually write anything.)

PPS, please make Sam write me, ugly handwriting or no.

2/24/2014

Mom,

Thanks for sending my blessing. I’m going to print it off and read it again at home. And, no. My card hasn’t come yet. Not as far as I know of, always. Also, as a side-note, I love the ‘boring’ letters. I love hearing about the basic things that happen at home. And I`m literally quite
fine without using the money in my bank account–I’ve survived perfectly fine without a debit card–so if you haven’t already taken out what I owe for wisdom teeth, you can now.

I had a day this week where all my disabilities and faults all curled up in my lap and I was like ‘I don’t speak this language!’ and ‘I never got trained all the way!’ and ‘How am I supposed to change people’s lives!’ but then I ate half a watermelon, read some scriptures, and was okay. That’s basically always my recuperation plan these days. Eat some watermelon, read some scriptures, good to go. Also, I’d like to point out that the next day of this mini-breakdown, I had two or three people point out that my castillano is very good, as a matter of fact. So, there’s that.

I miss The Littles so much. So, so much. There’s this little boy in the ward, Jacob, and he’s got, like, almost two years, and he’s a doll. He always runs up and straps himself to my legs and he has curls and eyes JUST like Sam did. He’s adorable.

There’s also this kid named Dan in the ward, ten years old, snarky, sarcastic, adores me. Totally my replacement for Sam. Though he does make note to screech, ‘Hernama Gringa!’ when he spots me walking up to his house. This is deplorable, and I’m working to get people to
pronounce Compton. It’s utterly difficult for people to pronounce my name.

Remember when you sent me a package full of salt and peanut butter, Ma? Well, word finally got around the zone the other week that for Christmas my parents sent me salt. I’m officially the joke of the zone. I’m now referred to as Lot’s wife. The saddest part is that my feet are basically fine now, and I don’t even need the salt. They stop laughing when I can say that I have a plethora of peanut butter though.

And that’s really cool that Alden’s looking to make his own business and all, but I think after I come home, I’m going to stay within a ten minute radius of you for a good long time.

I love you all lots! I think Spring’s around the corner, no? Enjoy the chilly weather for me for a little bit longer, okay?

Love, Hermana Compton
P.S. Say hi to Grandpa and Sharon for me. I’ve been thinking about them a lot this week, and every time I put on my shoes, I’m eternally grateful for the money they contributed.

disastrous 3 1/2 minutes; lost keys; changes

Dear Mother,

This week was wonderful. Well. I know that it was not bad. So that’s wonderful. We found two families that are really promising, are already married, and attended church and I told a joke in Spanish that people understood.

The language is skipping along. My grammar is horrific, and I tried studying it the other day and that was a disastrous three and a half minutes, but I can speak and people comprehend. I prefer learning by listening now, and don’t do well with books at all. One of the things I’ve noticed while out here is that my memory is significantly better. I can remember names of people I met only once two months ago, and words and streets stick a lot faster. I think this is a byproduct of learning a new language. I still lose keys. Oh, I still lose the keys. Let’s just say our landlord and I were fast friends. He’s a drunkard, but we’re friends.

I had a lesson Saturday night that was profoundly wonderful. Teaching used to be so hard, and it still is, but it’s getting easier. By easier, I mean that I don’t dread it now. I can speak better, and therefore I can feel the spirit better, and now I feel I have the potential to actually help people. And that’s why I’m out here.

We have. . . I can’t remember what they’re called in English. Changes? Tenemos cambios hoy dia. Today. I have three months in my Ward, and it’s not exactly a sparkling, amazing Ward, but I adore the people, and I honestly don’t want to leave. I don’t want to leave. I don’t, I don’t. So I probably will.

And I’ve honestly learned to adore my companion, Hna. Rojas. We had days where we were utterly annoyed with one another the first couple weeks, but we got really good at talking about why we were utterly annoyed, and this didn’t necessarily make it all better, but communication. That helps. And now we’re changing! No! I don’t want it !

Listen, I love you a ton, still haven’t received my card, I still want my patriarchal (however you spell that) blessing, and all this week was spent with an unfortunately snotty cold.

I still have days where I pause and I’m like, ‘I’m talking in Spanish. I’m thinking in Spanish. This is crazy. This is illogical. How? Don’t I speak English?’ but I actually cannot—cannot, cannot—look at a Latino and speak English. Heck, I can barely look at another North American and speak English. This is a good sign. I think.

I’m not missing the dreary rain and fog. That sounds horrific. No, gracias. I’ll keep my suffocating humidity and sweating 24 hours of the day, thanks.

Also, received the card from Alden and Sinda. It’s gorgeous. I went around and showed to it EVERYONE, and I was like. ‘Sé que esta familia no es su familia, pero no importe. Míralo! Míralo!’

Hasta aproximo semana, familia,

Chao

P.S. I finished 4 months yesterday! Woo! 14 more to go!

 

La Gringita, zombie apocalypse?; I’ll be fine

Mother,

You mean to say that you didn’t send licorice in my package? My spoiled Utahn is coming out. And yes, I did receive Caroline’s package—last week. It was a pleasant surprise, and I appreciate the journal very much. I like to write when I have the time, and I’m already halfway through my first journal.

And goodness. I miss Aurora and her sassy intelligence. And Sam. I miss Sam and his awkward, toothy grin.

This week was up there on the, ‘Ah! I’m not sure what I’m doing!’ weeks. But it was also up there on the, ‘I’ll be fine.’ weeks. We’re starting a new month, and there’s always this pressure bubble the first couple weeks of the month. It’s because if we don’t have progressing investigators, we need to find investigators to progress. Families are highly preferred.

So all this week was this scramble to find families that are actually going to progress, and I think we found a few good candidates. Pray for them, please.

But we also had a baptism of a little girl in the ward—she’s the daughter of a less active family, and she’s amazing. Begona, she’s called, and she has a horde of siblings, and they all clatter down the street screaming, ‘Las Hermanitas!’ when they see us coming. Well, either that or, ‘La Gringita!’

This week started what they call The Carnival. It’s terrible. For reasons that no one’s been able to logically explain to me, The Carnival consists of two months where, every Sunday, people roam the city throwing water balloons and soaking with buckets of water and any other assortment of weaponry and water. I don’t know why, but it’s like all of Iquitos declared a water fight, but strictly on weekends. And you bet the missionaries get targeted out here. We stick out like a sore thumb. Yesterday was the first day, and was ‘calm.’ Relatively speaking. I hear it gets worse and worse as the weeks go by, and that the last couple Sundays of March, we can’t leave our apartment. Because the teenagers and punks of the land stop using water and start using paint or food coloring or other. . .not-water things.

Story time. Yesterday we entered the house of a new investigator. It was pretty run down, but this is relatively normal. I don’t know what to call it in English. It’s a house, but several families rent out of it. There’s one matted, decaying mattress for every renter. Always pretty low on sanitary levels. But we entered and I plopped down in a rocking chair next to a ‘wall’ that consisted of a well-stained sheet, and thought nothing more of it. We started teaching, and partway through the lesson, the most inhuman sounds started up from behind the curtain, and I swear I’ve never physically felt my blood chill before, but it chilled.

The shock and terror must’ve showed on my face, because our investigator, Karin, smiled and said, ‘Ah. The Abuelita lives there. She’s got 108 years.’

And then it was okay, because any woman that survives 108 years in Peru, Iquitos has my respect.

So it’s okay, and we continue to teach, and everything’s going great. But then the sounds start up louder, and a hand is batting at the curtain and every zombie movie that I’ve ever seen is flashing through my mind, and this is it.

And then The Abuelita emerges from the curtain for just enough time to launch a watery, snotty sneeze all over the right side of my body.

So. Yeah. That’s the story of how I got sneezed on by a 108 year old woman in Peru.  I bet none of you guys can say that.

But, hey, I miss you all, and I don’t have any more time, and I hope all is well, and I’m actually quite jealous of all your food and cleaning and happiness.

Until next week,

Hermana Compton

P.S. My spelling is both atrocious in Spanish and English, I’ll have you all know.