Received Package; the whole public humiliation thing :-)

short hair

Dear Mother
I did play the piano this week. Luckily I’m well learned in the whole public humiliation thing what with learning Spanish on the go, so the familiar burn of shame didn’t shake me up too bad. I play horribly. The people here sing the songs different than at home becauee they’re learning the hymns second hand. So basically it’s a really long process of humiliation and guess work with literally no time to practice. It’s lovely, mother.

My keyboard has gone awol so for recompence, I give you photos. Lot’s and lots of photos.
P.S. Received package of Sharon! The goodies were shared once again in ward council meeting. It was fun.

missionleader fam

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Faith; less-terrible than last time; Peruvian mothers adopted me

melbday

birthday things

the emotional support of rice and four mothers is great when one hasn’t seen their actual mother for over a year.

peruvian mothersmudno se que

My dearest Mother,

I hear rumors of you guys coming to pick me up. This would be fantastic. I could introduce you to my five or six Peruvian Moms that have adopted me. The great thing is that I haven’t actually gone outside of Iquitos in my entire mission, so we don’t have to hop to either Trapoto or Pucallpa to show you all the people I love. But we’ll see. I know how these out of country plans go. Remember the would-be France trip? So close, yet so far.

Also, this Saturday my bishop called to confirm that I would still be playing piano in sacrament—I swear I’ve got heart palpitations thanks to Sunday meetings now—and that I’d also be giving a talk in Sacrament. Oh, how the nerves and nausea set in. I don’t like talking in Church in English. Worse todovia in Castillano. I swear I was going to pee my pants on the way to church so very, very nervous. But then there was a moment, between my house and the church, when I was praying profusely, and God was like, ‘Where is your faith?’ And I had my testimony builder moment where I remember that fear is the absence of faith, and I felt it. I love feeling things. I felt my faith move in and scatter all the panic and nerves until there was only a light calmness.

So I got to church and I played the piano and it was much less-terrible than last time, and I gave my talk and I only stumbled on one or two words and it didn’t even matter. There was still that peace and I just felt happy. Like denial, but better.

You’d think with more than a year in the mission, I would’ve figured that one out a lot sooner.

So I went home that Sunday still rolling around this new, shiny part of my testimony, observing it and all the things that it now means. Fear is the absence of faith, and it’s when we stop believing that God is at our side to help us. I thought about all my Going Home Fears that I have and how I so worry about who I’ll be when I get back, and I plugged in my new Faith vs. Fear theory, and I now feel a lot better about all said preocupaciones.

I now believe all light bulb moments are actually the Spirit gently hitting us over the head. So wonderful.

Apart from that, we continue working in my area. This exchange is already more than half-way up. The weeks go by so quickly, and I’m losing track of my days. My spelling is getting worse, my Spanish better. I ate a Juane—things wrapped in tree leaves and boiled—de fish eggs the other day. I’m horrified to report that it tasted delicious, but was bad for my conscience.

My companion remains adorable. She completed a year this week. We ate way too much cake.

Which reminds me. Also on a failing diet. Oops.

Until next week,

Hna. Compton

Everyone wrote me–it was glorious! Indira Aliaga; In San Juan; 5 or 6 Moms

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Forgive me for the shortness that this will be,
as everyone in the world decided to write me today–not complaining, it was glorious–
this leaves little time for everyone in general.
my new companion is splended. Wanted to be a nun when she was little because she liked the mystery of it all, but then decided to be a communist doctor in Cuba, but got chicken pox and couldn’t make the flight. So she became a dentist instead and got baptized. She’s so lovely and hugs me a lot, and her name is Hna. Aliaga. You could totally stalk her on facebook. Indira Aliaga is her name. My new ward is the best. I’m in Iquitos still, in San Juan, in 9 de Octubre, ward Colinas. The little ladys de Soc. Soc. threw me a party and gave me lots of candy to ensure my weight gain, and told me to tell you not to worry about a thing because I’ve got five or six moms in this ward. Almost burst into tears when they started talking like that, but I stayed strong, Mom. Not one tear was shed. Also, I’m now twenty-one. Old, I am. Well, older.
I’ll pray that all goes well with the job interview. I’ll be praying for the Aurora as well. I’m quite sad that I won’t be able to see her like before. Thank’s for the goodies package. I don’t know what else I’ll actually need for christmas. I have garments that are seriously dead..I think the washing system here takes it’s toll. But I can’t think of anything else for now. Mostly I just wanted those goodies. Sorry. Now I’m out of ideas, but I’ll be thinking, yeah?
Love you tons,
Hna. Compton
p.s. Julie! Thank you for your letter! I recognize that you’re out there and that you’ve written me, but I’ve now run out of tim

Lies, All Lies I Tell You! New Companion

Happy Birthday, Melody!!! You’re 21 on Friday! How can that be possible. We will make a cake and eat it in your honor. Any requests? I will put $20 in your bank account and you can go out to eat for your birthday.

Love you!
Love, Mom

que pumas mother

okay, 20 dollars esta bien, but mejore me manda a package. There are things there that cannot be bought here, you know?

for example

beef jerky.

this is not a joke

a bag of reese’s peanut butter cups
smarties

junk food, mom. please send me junk food

this can be my last mission package, but i need copious amounts of beef jerky

i’ve had cravings alllll week
please
please
please

Dear Mother,

As you well know, I’m going on package strike. This week is my birthday, and I’m touched by your good will to send me money, but there are things that cannot be bought with money—well, at least they can’t be bought in Iquitos with money. You have my list of desired goods—beef jerky, Peanut Butter Cups—a complete bag, please—and copious amounts of smarties. If this sounds mildly bratty or demanding . . . well, it is a little, but I’ve been craving all these terrible things for like . . . 13 months.

So I did have transfers, but they did not boot me out of Iquitos to another part, they just kicked me about twenty minutes west, in the Zone 9 de Octubre. I always said I was destined for this zone because it’s the date that I reported in the mission. So. Cool. I have a new companion, Hna. Aliaga. We have the same time in the field, and she’s such a sweetheart. She hugs me on an unusually high rate, and this was just what I needed. I was at the breaking point of emotional stability for a while there, but now I feel like these changes have balanced me out. Seven months in one area was a bit rough, but I didn’t realize it until I was already out. Like an abusive relationship that just goes in circles.

Freedom!

But also tristeza because I miss the ward a lot.

I don’t know if you guys know this or not, but Richard’s sending me some cool letters about the mission life. You should ask for them, because it’s things I never knew about him. But I guess you read all his letters home. I never heard anything about his mission adventures. Are you reading my letters to the kids? I want them to hear about my disastrous adventures as well.

English is getting harder and harder to speak and think and spell. My head hurts more and more the longer I go in English, and I want to use words and phases in Spanish. I feel I can express myself better in Spanish now, and that’s a really weird sensation.

Oh! Almost forgot. Early Sunday morning my new bishop called and asked me to play the piano in sacrament. Apparently, my zone leader, who used to be my district leader, told him I played. Lies, all lies I tell you! But he said he’s been praying that someone that plays can move into the ward, and so I played, but it was terrible. At first I was like,’Okay. I’ll only use the left hand sometimes. When it’s the easy parts.’ But then. ‘Nope, nope, nope. Right hand only.’ But then. ‘Okay, top note only!.’ And I still almost died. One year out of practice hurts the quality, but not that it was that high to start with. . .

Love you all,

chao