And I fear the day I vuelvo

Dear Mother,

Have I told you lately that I love the misión? That I’m really tired—all of the time—and that sometimes teaching people and loving people is difficult, and they ever so kindly call us demonios o que adoramos a José smith, but I have this little fuzzy, warm part deep inside of me that glows at night when all the dust has settled. Actually, that could be the climate, but I’m almost sure it’s love.

In other news, not one of my investigators attended church yesterday. That was a bit of a blow. Sundays can be a bit painful. The song the congregation sings before the Sacrament is the most painfully long two minutes ever. The hope flickers out and dies on the last strophe when they close the doors. Here in Iquitos, they don’t serve the Sacrament to those waiting outside the doors.

128 people attended yesterday. It’s a ward. We recently changed bishops, which was a weird change, though if someone asked me why, I wouldn’t quite know how to explain why it was strange, only that it was. I’ve never stayed in a ward long enough to change bishops, so I guess I’ve never—or don’t remember—going through that. And for assignments, the Elders teach a Family History class, and I teach the Gospel Principle class. I almost died the first time I gave it, but now it’s pretty chill. Sometimes there are five people, sometimes fifteen, depending on the day, depending if it rained or not.

I feel like everything’s changed back home. Levi is so big and so blond. I don’t even know him. You’ve just sent me pictures of an adorable little white baby that I don’t even know, right? And you’re canning again? What? It’s getting colder over there, right? Fall. And Sam will have a new set of teeth by the time I get back, plastic or bone, no one knows. Tell that boy to brush his teeth on a regular basis, dang it.

In other news, there isn’t more news.

Only that there’s only six months left of this mission thing,

And I fear the day I vuelvo.

What will I do when I’m not The Spanish Speaking Melody?

Who am I?

Life long questions, of which I have yet to receive a respuesta.

Whell. I’ve talked myself into an identity crisis. I think that’s enough damage for one day.

Hna. Compton









Still in Clavero; Time to be sad? Yo no.

children umbrellamelodyandruizpensionista

people i love
so very, very much
that you will never, ever meet





children of Hermana Magaly


Noticia de los cambios: I’m still here in Clavero. Fifth change here. But I do so love it here. I feel this place is just as much my home as Belle Monet or the Mona house was. I’ll have almost eight month here with the exchange here. That means it’s almost certain that they’re going to kick me out of here next time, but for now, I’m content.

Bad news of the week: Magali, my miracle investigator who has her own testimony of everything will not be getting baptized. Or not with me, anyways. She’s off to live in a little town up the river, where the church has not yet reached. They’re going to have to send Sam and Joy to this mission and they can go in search of all of my almost-were investigators. While I’m quite saddened by this news of Magaly going off in a boat to live in a little pueblito, I’ve learned to bounce back from this a little bit faster. Before I was just sad but now I just have to not be. Who even has time to be sad? Yo no. (You should read that ‘yo’ with a Argentinean accent.)

Well, in other news, it rained yesterday. It rained really hard yesterday. Like buckets and buckets and buckets and rivers and streams and the streets kind of disappeared in tan rivers of dirty water. It was so cool.

A ver. What else happened? One of the elders in my ward changed and now one’s training a newbie from Utah and he gives me pain. Poor little thing. He’s just so constantly confused. He gives me flashbacks of a time that is better not remembered.

I officially have only, like, six and a half months left? But that’s trunky, and I’m not going to be talking about trunky things.

I’m glad everything’s going splendidly over there. Nathan? Dating? Yuck.

Bonus photos!

El Pelachito; beautiful boy named Richard

melodywithumbrella raincoats

if one looks closely, a melody can be found

frolicking in a rainy, obscure field
with a half broken umbrella

it was a good night

como habia una paragua rompido

compre bulsas de pan

viente centimos cada una

y nos mojamos
con una miembro del barrio



Dearest Mother,

I want you to know that with all of my companions, I always end up bragging about Keith. That might sound really weird, but I have to be super reassuring that my step dad is cool, because step dads usually get a bad rap, right? So they all know that he’s bald, and has a bad chocolate addiction, and likes to garden, and now they’ll know that he takes kids to the dentist on his day off. I don’t think you guys could understand very well, but when I skyped home last spring, Hna. Ponton basically just asked which one was Keith the whole time. ‘El pelachito.’

This week we changed house because two hombres solteros recently moved into my apartment, so now we live in the house of the most adorable lady ever. So that was a pain, moving. Hno. Cesar helped us move everything was ever so offended when we offered to pay for the gas we used in his motokar. 

This week I was teaching lesson 2-El Plan de Salvacion. And it sort of hit me again that this church is true, and that might sound silly because of course it is. But I was teaching about how Satan rebelled against God and Plan Free Will and how Adam and Eve aren’t terrible human beings and that everything is actually a really well organized plan that God has for us, and I saw the little light flicker on behind her eyes, and she was like, ‘Oh. Oh.’ And she was like, ‘How do you know so much?’ but not ‘you’ as in me but as in, ‘How do we know so much?’ Because prophets and revelation and order and because God loves us.

Only recently I’m grasping at what it must be like to not understand. It must be like trying to read without glasses—or play the piano, in your case, mom—and when one finds the church is like magic. Eyesight. Perfect. We can see. Isn’t that cool? Isn’t that wonderful?

But anyways.

We have cambios in an hour or so but I’m almost certain that they’re not going to be kicking me out of Clavero—I have to finish training Hna. Ruis. Or at least I’ve been praying that they won’t, anyways. There are the 4 parts of the mission—Iquitos, Pucallpa, Tarapoto, and Mayobama. Most of the hermanas have already skipped from two or three of these areas. I’ve been camping out in Iquitos for all this time, but I’m actually perfectly alright with that. I like it here. I feel like this is my house, this ward. The kids in the streets know me, the members know me. Like I’m part of the neighborhood. Even the Evangelists aren’t scared of me anymore.

What else happened this week? I see I finally received a letter from Richard—Oh, have I told you of the beautiful little boy named Richard? He has the prettiest eyes, and screams, ‘Hermana!’ upon sight, and his mother cannot peel him from my side until he has given me at least three kisses. (Tried teaching the mom. Shut me down so fast I didn’t even know how to respond. Sigh.) He makes my heart hurt.

Oh. And my pensionista. She may possibly be an angel. An ANGEL. She plays oldies Peruvian music and fusses over us and smothers us in so much love it would almost be suffocating but it’s so not. Her name is Ana Bragga. She’s the bishop’s mom. I love her.

Well, that’s all for now folks. Chao.

p.s. Also, thanks for talking about me?



Conversion; Petty Big Sister Feelings; AesaLina

Dear Mother,

I was thinking all this week about my process in helping people be converted and baptized in the church. The easy part is getting them to the baptism. The hard part is getting them to the conversion. And is emotionally the hardest part for me. Because I feel like these people become a part of me. Emotionally draining things are really emotionally draining.

This week was a rather interesting rush of days I can’t really remember. I know there was a lot of sun. Oh! I cleaned out a fraction of all the garbage floating beneath a house. We return Wednesday to finish it off. I also constructed with my own two hands a doll out of hay and old fruit. You probably don’t believe me, but I’m trying to send photos to back me up. Hopefully they load, but if they don’t . . . well, you should still believe me.

Going back to things that were emotionally draining this week, I had to change pensionista—or, that is to say, the person who gives us food. While this shouldn’t be particularly traumatizing, I’m here to say that it was. Because Hermana Magaly is quite poor, and needs desperately the extra help. And some mission rules changed, and now we can eat there anymore. We had to tell her this the same day that she found out she has some sort of stones in her gall bladder. So. That was a pretty tough blow. Felt like an utterly wretched person, by the way.

Oh, jump on it. It gives me nostalgic, big sister feelings. Tell Nathan I’m taking Sam and Joy to Jump on It when I get back, but we’ll be excluding him for his utter and complete lack of letter writing. Petty, big sister feelings. Tell him he has six months to shape up. Or else.

Joy always mentions about going on a mission. She’ll get sent to some poor, poor part of China—in my head, China’s open in 6 years—and never forget to appreciate what she has again. Just tell her the story of Magaly, the sick single mom with six kids and no good work.

Well, that’s about it on the Peruvian World Update.

Until next week.

Hna. Compton

mel mission

 (To AesaLina)


hey you

i was thinking about you all this week

and all your tyrants

and your pregnantness.

note: not using spell check
i apologise.

but I just want you to know that I think you’re fantastic

and I wish i could sit on your couch and crochet for a day
or two


and that you’re loved by me
say hello to the littles
and that one brother that i have
i forget his name
and your dogs

secret: i actually miss your dogs a ton sometimes
i probably think about them on a regular basis
than 75 % of the people back home