Mother, Keith, assorted family,
Happy 2 years! That’s pretty crazy that two years have already passed! Speak of time going quickly, I finish five months exactly this coming Sunday. Almost a third of the way done. That doesn’t feel real. That doesn’t feel real at all. I wish you come down and cook me a happy five month feast, but alas, I’ll stick to my artificial ham and cheese sandwiches.
I’m somewhat bewildered by this mild, friendly Utah weather. It’s unnatural, and you should all be really concerned. There’s almost certainly something worse around the corner. (I blame any claims of pessimism on Uncle Jaye.)
Out of curiosity, how much do I have in my bank account? And is Spencer paying the insurance in for my car? It’s automatically withdrawn from my account, I think.
The Spanish is coming along swimmingly. I can communicate now. That’s nice. I even understand jokes these days. I’ve heard I talk like an Argentinean. Or at least I use words that only they use. Actually, sometimes I have to have my companion translate what the other missionaries are saying because there’s little words that each country has that the others don’t. And I’m not learning the ones of Peru, but of the Argentine variety. Also, my spelling is even worse in Spanish than it is in English. And my English is now worse than it was before my mission. To put it mildly, it’s a disaster. A large, phonetically-incorrect, grammatically-incorrect disaster. Just like that sentence.
I will come home to a new house. This is okay.
Iquitos is Iquitos. It’s really big, and there’s lots of motokars scooting around.
Yesterday was Carnival. Not sort-of-Carnival like the other weekends. It was the big deal. Before it was a water balloon thrown in our general direction, but the actual holiday is quite a bit different. They put up these long, bendy trees in the streets—literally in the middle of the streets. But first they tie things to this tree. Plastic pots and chair and stools and shirts and toys and whatever house-hold item they can get their hands on. The cool ones have a Peruvian flag at the top. They put the tree up Saturday and cut it down with a machete Sunday night, and everyone on the block goes crazy and rips things off the tree. I watched it all from my balcony last night. It’s sort of like the opposite of a Christmas tree. Thin, little tropical tree with all the presents on top.
But then they have this really, really gorgeous rustic and yellow colored clay that they either A) roll into little watery balls and chuck at people or B) put the clay in a bucket of water and chuck the bucket of water at people. Either way, the clay gets on everyone and everything. They also get little seeds of a plant that are basically a fuzzy barb and throw that at people as well. You shouldn’t ask me why they do all these things, because I don’t know, and they don’t know—I already asked.
Amidst all this are the parties and the drunks and the music playing so loud you can feel it in your lungs.
We actually didn’t proselyte yesterday. We ran to church, ran to lunch, and ran to our house and didn’t leave till this morning. It was a mission wide rule. The kids and the teenagers tend to target missionaries, I guess, and they’ve had security problems in the past.
I love you all! I wish you the best of luck in preparation with the move and with the kids and with family home evening.
P.S. Ask Marissa about the urinal story. The urinal story is the best.