lost debit card; rain; homesick

4/28/2014

This week was a blur. A hectic, rainy blur. But that’s about every week, minus the rain. I felt a bit homesick this week. I don’t usually. But I missed you all very much. I’m quite excited be able to talk to you guys in two weeks.

The tragic news first, I suppose. I have officially misplaced my debit card permanently. I’m pretty sure I know the exact moment that I lost my card. About three weeks ago, the Elders in our Ward had three wedding receptions in the chapel. So Hna. Ponton and I helped. A lot. And at the end of the time, it was late, and we needed to be in our houses.

But low and behold, in our moment of need, there was no motokar to be found. Not one. So we started speed walking. Very, very quickly. But three blocks from the chapel, I realized I had the keys to the church in a death grip. I felt somewhat betrayed by my left hand, but I stopped everyone and Elder Erasmo, an Elder from Argentina, looked at me with horror, grabbed the keys from my hands, and bolted for the church. So we followed, running and dying and thinking about the hour—far past the hour that we were supposed to be in our houses. And it was in that moment that my card fell from my pocket, never to be seen again.

So. Um. That’s the story of how I lost my debit card one Friday night in Peru. Can you send me a new one?

Also, I’m learning patience with this companion. We get along well for about 70 % of the time. The other 30 % of the time is spent trying not to kill one another. But she usually simmers down after a while, and really is quite a good person. Most of the time.

I’ve felt pretty blessed in the area, in that we run into families really often. But the water keeps rising, and there’s a new rule that only Elders can go for the Puentes, which limits so much of our area.

Hmmmm. Trying to think of other things that have happened this week. I know I always say this, but the time is passing by so fast and it just keeps getting faster and faster. I have changes aproxima semana, and that really just is. . . I don’t know. How is time passing by this quickly? Is it passing by the same over there? Do you guys feel this time warp going on or is it just on my side?

But anyways, I love you all. Call Claudya and tell her that her Aunty Bowdie loves her, and that I send love and hugs and other good things.

Love, Hermana Compton

4/21/2014

The photos are great. Everyone’s grown. I was quite shocked with I saw the photos. Everyone’s growing without me! Tell them to stop it. No more growing. This week I’m lazy, and I’m going to copy and paste some little mini letters that I wrote to you during this week.

 

Dear Mom,

 

This week has been a bit rough. Let’s just say that I’m learning the command form of the Spanish language with this companion. 

 

Love, Melody

 

 

Dear Mom,

 

I think I caught the amazonic flu. It’s like the regular flu, but it sounds cooler. 

 

Love, Melody

 

 

Dear Mom, 

 

I dreamt I was home last night. I cried a little bit in the dream, but mostly I went around translating everything into Spanish. 

 

Love, Melody

 

 

Dear Mom, 

 

This week my companion and I baptized a family. I love them greatly.

 

Love, Melody

 

 

Dear Mom,

 

This week I ate fried rice three times in a row. Note: It is entirely possible that I will return a mammoth. 

 

Love, Melody

 

 

Dear Mom,

 

This week I made Friends with a pig. His name is Porky, and he slept under my chair.

 

Love, Melody

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Punchana, Loreto, Peru; rickety bridges no me importa

ImageMother,

Firstly, Richard and AesaLina are pregnant? What?! I know I’m deep in the Peruvian outback, but I would like to know at least pregnancy updates. This means there will be a wee babe who will live five months without the love of Aunt Bowdie. Also, do Ashley and Tyler live in Utah now?

I’m in Zona Punchana, ward Clavero. This ward is fantastic. The people are good. They’re really, really good.Image

Right now we’re teaching a family set to be baptized this Saturday. A woman, Sarina, widowed, with four young boys, whom I utterly, completely adore. I love them very, very much. We’re also teaching a family that wants to be baptized and married, but they have a sharp little eleven year-old that’s very, very Aventista. And she likes to ask the most ridiculous questions, and has a bible that’s been. . . edited. Terrible, la peqeñita.Image

The Abajo is about six or seven blocks away. Usually, we take a motorcar, if we’re running late, which is almost always, and we walk if we’ve had previous appointments closer. It’s slowly, slowly filling up with water. You can walk on dry land in the early morning and return late afternoon and it’s water-logged. Las puentas are going up fast. At first I was terrified of the rickety bridges, but now I’m like, ‘Nope. I’ve got appointments to make and people to bring to the church. No me importe.’ImageImage

I go to church in a chapel? Indipendencia con panama, if you’d like to google that. It’s a lot nicer than the church in Las Castañas. I don’t do my own laundry here. We send it down to a lady who hand washes them and sends it back nicely folded. Clean laundry will always be glorious, I believe. We now have a. . . I don’t actually know what the word is in English. Que es? Pensionista? But we only have breakfast in her house, and lunch in the house of members, and Dinner is on our own, but is normally something quick. Like a bread with some ham. Something questionable in your eyes, I’m sure.

I realize that last week was Alden’s birthday. Please tell him happy birthday from me. I was thinking about him all this week, and how awesome he’s been, and that I’m quite glad that we got to be siblings. And I ALSO remember that this week is Victoria’s birthday, and tell her happy birthday as well, please.

The Elders in our ward married three couples this Friday, and baptized the three couples and their children Saturday, equating 10 baptisms. That’s really crazy. So, all this week was running around frantically trying to help them, in hopes that everything didn’t crash and burn. 

 

I miss the littles a lot. If you could please buy some sort of camera and send me photos, that would be wonderful. I officially completed six months, and everyone’s changing without me. I’ll send photos if you guys send photos. Deal?

Love you all!

Spanglish bubble in the Gringo room; poverty is relative

Mother,

Conference was wonderful. I also had the wonderful privilege to listen to it in English. It was dubbed The Gringo Room. And I loved it. Oh, how I loved it. It also made me miss home a bit, but I got over that pretty quickly. I think I loved Elder Uchdorf´s talk the most. (You and I both know I’m never going to spell that name correctly.) And I did see Alicia. I was so shocked, I yelped, “Ella es mi prima!” Everyone was like, “Um. You can speak English.” The Gringo room was the weirdest little Spanglish bubble ever.

I think it’s really cool and really good that you’re helping the kids read the scriptures.  Perhaps to help Joy enjoy her Spring Break, you can take them all to Temple Square. Drag Spencer along too, if possible.

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El Abajo, Amazon River near Iquitos, Peru

I miss my Sam quite a bit. He’s a sweet boy, I just hope that sticks.

The Abajo. It’s a rather interesting mess. It does have somewhat organized street names, if not house numbers and ways to find said numbers. References are always a pain in El Abajo because the numbers are so bad. It really depends on what house you go into for lighting. Sometimes there’s lighting, sometimes there’s not. It also depends on what part of the Abajo that we go to. Some are houses are no more than planks above water with half-finished roofs and missing walls. There seems to be an infinite supply of coal down here, so most burn coal to cook. There’s not running water. They have to haul it. A few have hose filters that pump up river water and ‘clean’ it, though that’s a really, really relative clean. Sometimes we walk down the planks and water suddenly just falls into the rivers. I think it’s the people bucket-showering, and the water just falls through the floors. And the smell is not pleasant. The water is not clean. The river has a floating sheet of garbage. And the children play in it all as if it were a summer pool.

The water’s also rising. These are the months of rain. We have families that we were teaching that we now don’t have access to because the water’s too high, and they haven’t put up the puentas yet. We’ll keep returning for when the puentas are up, but until then, we can’t get to them.

It’s definitely given me a relativity gauge on what’s poverty and what’s not poverty. We’re teaching a family, a widowed woman with your four young boys. The eldest boy, John Kenny, is fourteen years old and makes five soles every three days selling cakes in the streets for his aunt. That’s living off roughly a dollar fifty for a family of four for every three days. And they’re actually pretty well to do. They have a complete house and it’s not directly on the river.

And I have days where it’s actually really sad to work down there, but I’d like you all to know that I’m really, really happy down here.  I have days where I vomit—stomach bug this week—or I have a terrible headache, or I have my moment when I miss you or Keith or my brothers or Marissa, but I really do love it. I really do. And I’m going to complete exactly six months down here Miercoles.

See you all in a year!

Love, Hermana Compton

P.S. Happy Birthday to Alden this week! I´ll buy him some touristy trinkets this week. Of course, he won’t get it for a good, long time, but I think it’s the thought that counts. Or something. 

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El Abajo (lowlands) Amazon River near Iquitos, Peru

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El Abajo, Peru