Darkest Peru. What?

mel 2.23.2015iquitos 2.23.2015

I have no idea who or what or where Paddington, but I must assume that this is social media references that I’m not going to get for a long, long time. And that’s okay.

This week on Crosby updates—well, she’s fantastic. She doesn’t hug me much, but she’s really good at saying things like, ‘I love you. You have no idea.’ And also, ‘I could just stare at your face all day.’ along with other affirming, feel-good things. We have changes today—my very last—and we’re terrified at the thought of being split up. We’ve only been together for one change, but she’s literally the best thing that’s happened to me in a long time.

As far as missionary work in this ward goes, it’s stalling. We’ve got this adorable lady and her grown son going to church, but she’s super hesitant about being baptized again—she understands the priesthood and authority, but is quite opposed to the idea of a second baptism. She’s Catholic, and her mom was a nun when she was younger, but she’s quite wonderful, all things considered. Then there’s Alexandra and Jose. They’re a young, unmarried couple who’ve attended a few times. She’s definitely more invested in being a member and going to church and reading and praying, but he doesn’t want to get married, which is a huge obstacle here in Peru. She can’t progress any further without being married in able to be baptized. It’s sad, actually.

In all honesty, yesterday was a pretty rough day. Spiritually, physically, emotionally. It’s something horrible to know and to understand the truths of the gospel so clearly and to watch people completely reject it. We taught a less active where there was a woman who’s a member of a church called Dios Madre, of which has pretty strange, extreme ideas.  She snapped and bit at every little thing until we had to go to another room in the house.

Also, it was Sundays. Always, by far, the longest, hardest days of the week.

Alden and Sinda are coming home! Rejoice! To quote you Mom,  ‘I am SO happy about that! I want to jump up and down and yell and sing and dance.’ That’s about how I feel. That’s actually the best news I’ve gotten in a long time, and is definitely a booster to my iffy week.

See you all in a bit,

Hna. Compton

p.s. I’ve been dreaming a ton about Alden and Sinda lately and I totally had a dream of watching Alden get off a plane and you crying, you were so happy. Pre-cognitive-dream-called-it!

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A Whole New World; She thinks I’m hilarious

Dear Mother,compton and crosby
The Robot Arm looks horrific. I can totally see Richard deciding not
to come down to Peru, but I also cannot see you and Keith getting down
to Peru without having Richard with you. This is all sounding a bit
sketchy. I will let you know that I won’t freak out if you guys decide
that maybe you all won’t come down to pick me up. But it’s sort of up
to you guys. I heard that there’s a tour guide of Machu Pichu
specifically for all lost Mormon families picking up their children.
Mormontours or guids or something like that. But if you all back out,
also totally okay with it, just so you all know. Let me know so I can
talk to my mission offices to let them know, okay?

This week nothing of striking importance happened. We had zone
conference, which was nice, I suppose. All the sisters put on pretty
skirts and actually combed their hair, myself included. We have it
pretty rough with the frizz out here on the outskirts of the amazons.
Sunday two huge gringos popped into our sacrament meeting late looking
for a place to take the sacrament. I nearly died of a heart attack.
One was bearded. It was all super alarming.

I don’t actually like P-DAYS, if I haven’t already said that. I read
lovely letters about broken arms and kittens named Binx—I love Julie
letters—and about Marissa and Joy and K’Lani and how you’re all still
there and I feel all the hollow spaces where you belong.

Today we got to see Meet the Mormons. Have you guys seen that? You
haven’t, right? You should watch it. You should take the kids and go
watch it. It made me happy but also super homesick. But mostly happy.
(That’s my denial talking. It just made me homesick.)

My companion, Hna. Crosby, is wonderful. She’s from Northern
California. Like, Red Wood Forest California. She’s going to finish a
year in the mission this week. I think we’re going to eat, erm,
cookies in celebration? I actually don’t know. But she’s this adorable
sports girl who loves anything and everything about, well, sports.
She’s quite determined to get me a social life back home, which is
terrifying, but we adore one another. Literally. We laugh so much, and
we’ve started doing pushups a night before we go to bed. This might
sound shallow or bad or something, but being with another gringo is .
. . how should I put this . . . ? ‘A whole new world!’ It’s amazing.
She thinks I’m hilarious. I understand her puns. It’s a win-win
situation.

And yes, there are several Americans—also a Canadian and a ginger—here
in Iquitos. The companionships are generally a half and half
combination. Gringo y latino together.
I’m sending off two letters today. I hope they get there to you. There
are cards and/or letters for you, Nathan, Joy, Sam, Spencer, and
Aurora. Also three bracelets for Nathan, Joy, and Sam.

Sister Compton

What the heck are we doing in the Amazon jungle? 6 weeks to sexy program

I don’t understand. How did AesaLina break her arm? This is alarming. I would totally take her direction-impaired children with me all day to give them time. But tell her I love her and I’m sorry she broke her arm. Would it be weird if I asked how she’s broken it?

Also, Marissa wrote me about all her friends and life and family and I found this is made my emotional levels much more wildly uncontrollable. I literally think I’ll have a breakdown upon my return. I believe we should plan it all out, to make it the least traumatizing as possible. If you could somehow have copious amounts of ice-cream and Aubrey Hepburn movies ready for my return, that’d be fantastic.

This week there was surprise service found in the house of an investigator. We helped them dig out their dirt floor so they could take out a rotted wall. My companion, tall basket ball playing gringa that she is, ripped out a wooden support pull with one go, and below there was a deep dark cavern of ants.

Me: I think we just found a door to hell.

Crosby: They’re just ants.

Me: Do you think satan’s down there?

My theory was proven correct when a huge, freakishly colorful spider came springing out of said hole. We killed it with a pickaxe. It was all quite exciting, but we were horrifically sore all the next day.

Speaking of the next day, it rained—surprise! Like always—and I totally fell right on my bum. Both feet, full fall, dying on the ground, grit between my toes, mud-caked butt. And my dear companion was a fit of hysterical silent giggles in the wake of my great fall. I frowned and cried and laughed and got up and kept going down the hill.

You know, sometimes this mission thing is not anything like what I thought it would be. I didn’t really understand what it would be, and sometimes is still look around with my companion and we’re like, ‘What the heck are we doing in the amazon jungle? How’d we get here? How have we been here for so long?’ And we marvel.

Hna. Compton

p.s.

Crosby: if we stay together for another change we are totally doing a 6 weeks to sexy program!

Me: What? That sounds dangerous. Is this optional because–

Crosby¨: We will do it and we will die and it will be fantastic!

And thus begins the 6 week race to drop the 15 pounds I’d foolishly picked up along this whole crazy ride.